Leap of Faith
I have been a teacher for 11 years. Before I officially became a teacher, I practiced teaching…with my dolls, my poor younger brother (he swears he was forced, but I’m certain he liked the learning I offered), with Sunday School kids, VBS kids…basically anyone I could find. I knew at around eight years old that I wanted to teach.
As I grew up, I assumed I would teach elementary school. I wanted to be like Mrs. Estes – my fifth grade teacher who believed in my class enough to start a school-wide “bank,” dissect frogs, hold a presidential election, and let me clean her desk out on a regular basis. I loved Mrs. Estes (and if you’re reading this Mrs. E, I still do!).
Or, I wanted to be like Mrs. Schiele – my 3rd grade teacher at the military kids school in Germany who took us to the market to buy the ingredients for a beef stew, was brave enough to embark on weekend trips, attempted to make us eat mussels, and had us create weekly Validations to remind each other how awesome each and every one of us was. She was awesome too.
I just knew I would teach elementary school until the summer before my senior year of high school when I babysat the same 2 year old for two months and thought I might poke my own eye out with a baby spoon. I couldn’t stand him, and I suddenly had visions of myself with 30 five to ten year olds who I also hated. I’d have to spend all day with them, wiping noses, coddling them, and doing more than I knew I wanted to. Plus, I’d probably have to teach them math – and anyone who knows me knows that THAT is not a good combination!
Scoot forward several years, and I’m teaching English at the high school I was forced to attend when my parents moved my younger brother and me to North Carolina for my senior year. I hated the school while I was there, but as a teacher, I was (and still am) very excited to be there.
But there is one place I’d actually rather be and that’s at home with my children. My situation when I had Alex kept me from being the stay-at-home mom I wanted to be. I suddenly became a single mom, so obviously staying at home and not making a decent salary wasn’t going to cut it. So, I worked as best I could with my mother, a daycare, another daycare, a preschool, a kind member of the community, and my mom again to take care of Alex while I went to work.
Life changed again, and I’m married to Aaron who has the same outlook. He likes the idea of me at home; I LOVE the idea of me at home, and we both wanted to make that happen. We have worked very hard over the last couple of years to get ourselves to a point that it will be possible.
While I’m very happy that it’s almost here, I’m a little freaked out. I’ve been working full time (minus one semester and one part-time year) for 11 years. I have had a solid salary with my master’s and my National Board certification. I have been highly involved in the district, with the faculty, with students, with clubs. So, shifting to having no LIVE face-to-face students, no faculty members with classrooms next door to pop in to and steal staplers, no faculty meetings to make faces at my husband across the way, and no fast-paced day is going to be strange.
Don’t get me wrong. I am ridiculously excited and kind of wish the time would hurry up so I could just be at home. But it’s going to be very weird, and I’m very aware of that. It’s a leap of faith. I’m jumping with my arms and my mind wide open understanding that it will be a big change with lots of adjustment. Here’s hoping I don’t fall flat on my face!